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24 Jan 2005 : Column 17W—continued

Bam Earthquake

Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding the Government have (a) pledged and (b) spent in relief and reconstruction for Bam, Iran, following the earthquake in 2003. [210307]

Hilary Benn: Following the earthquake in Bam, the Department for International Development committed £1,676,640 to support immediate humanitarian needs
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and rebuild livelihoods. £1,206,640 was channelled through United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations as financial support.

From the balance, DFID provided 68 search and rescue specialists and four DFID personnel, 450 family winter tents and other shelter materials for distribution by the Iranian Red Crescent as well as two cargo aircraft put at the disposal of the Iranian Government.

In addition, the European Community Humanitarian Aid Office contributed €8.5 million for emergency relief and rehabilitation of which the UK's share was €1.445 million (£1.01 million).


Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much (a) financial, (b) material, (c) personnel and (d) other aid the UK Government (i) pledged and (ii) delivered to Bangladesh after the floods in 2004. [210199]

Hilary Benn: The UK Government allocated £10 million through DFID to meet immediate flood emergency needs following the floods in July 2004. £5 million of this was channelled through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and £5 million through the World Food Programme (WFP). Supporting these two organisations ensured that both food and non-food emergency needs of those affected by the flood were met. This initial £10 million provided food packages of rice, pulses, oil, salt and nutritionally fortified high-energy biscuits; and non-food support, including shelter and agricultural support (such as provision of seedlings) to over 900,000 families (4.5 million people) affected by the floods.

In August the United Nations launched its Consolidated Appeal for $210 million (£117 million) to meet relief and recovery needs for the next 6 months. Again, the UK Government acted swiftly to meet the extensive recovery and rehabilitation needs of Bangladesh. On 18 August, DFID's Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State announced an additional £15 million through DFID for Bangladesh to support the repair, replacement and maintenance of roads and bridges; to provide food, shelter, clean water, sanitation, medial supplies; and to provide funds for cash-for-work programmes to give people affected by the floods the opportunity to earn income to help recover from the floods.

From this £15 million, £1 million has been channelled to the World Food Programme to support their provision of food to those affected by the floods. £2 million has been channelled through the UNDP to provide temporary and longer-term shelter to flood affected families, working in partnership with the Local Government and Engineering Department (LGED). Another £4 million has been channelled through the UNDP to support NGO-managed 'cash-for-work' programmes. £2 million has been channelled to the World Health Organisation (WHO) through the UNDP to provide medical supplies to maternal and child welfare centres and urban clinics. £2 million has been channelled through the UNDP to United Nations Children's Fund
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(UNCIEF) to work with the Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) to restore access to safe water and sanitation facilities. The final £4 million was provided to the Government of Bangladesh's Roads and Highways Department to support their request for emergency financing for roads, bridges and culverts damaged by the recent floods.

A further £4 million was channelled to the World Food Programme's Emergency Response Programme (EMOP) in October 2004. This will enable the poorest flood victims to have continued access to food during the period of scarcity, which has followed the floods.

Staff from the DFID Bangladesh office were extensively involved in responding to the floods in 2004 but no other personnel were involved.

The UK Government expenditure that is channelled through the European Commission and the multilateral development banks has also contributed to the total humanitarian assistance. The European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) provided $5.3 million through the UN Flash Appeal, $230 million is being provided through the World Bank and $180 million through the Asian Development Bank as loans to the Government of Bangladesh for a post-flood recovery and assistance programmes.


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the number of people displaced from Karen and Karenni states in Burma in 2004. [209062]

Hilary Benn: Displaced people are among the poorest and most marginalised people in Burma and are often located in areas where DFID or international agencies have little or no access. Therefore reliable statistics on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the Karen and Karenni States are unavailable. DFID cannot access these areas freely and have not made an independent assessment on the number of people displaced. However in October 2004, the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) estimated that the number of people displaced from their homes in Burma was at least 526,000 in total.

Securing increased access to these vulnerable areas is an important objective of DFID. DFID is currently working with international organisations such as the UN to encourage the Burmese authorities to do this. DFID is currently providing £500,000 to support the International Committee of the Red Cross, who have been gradually increasing their access and are now operating in significant areas of the Eastern Burma.


Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he will reply to the letter dated 22 November 2004 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Anna Galding and Matilda Chime. [209850]

Hilary Benn: I replied to my right. hon. Friend in my letter of 7 December 2004.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the incidence of malaria in refugee camps in Darfur. [209069]

Hilary Benn: According to the United Nations (UN) Morbidity and Mortality Bulletin, between 22 May and 31 December 2004, there were a total of 168,584 clinically diagnosed Malaria cases, including 319 deaths reported in Darfur. The greatest distribution of cases was reported in West Darfur. The figures are from two thirds of the internally displaced people (IDP) settlements and hospitals in the region, which covers 1.1 million of the conflicted affected population.

The traditional malaria season in Sudan runs from May through to November, and therefore the numbers of reported cases are expected to ease off early into the 2005. Access to internally displaced people, security, and the poor provision of health care facilities in some areas continue to hamper the diagnosis and treatment of malaria cases.

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what the cost of travel within the UK for the Department was in each year since 1997; and how much of this was spent on (a) hire cars, (b) helicopter hire, (c) hotel accommodation and (d) subsistence; [206476]

(2) how many overseas trips, and at what total cost, have been made by his Department in each year since 1997; and what the costs of (a) flights, (b) internal travel, (c) hotel accommodation and (d) subsistence were of each trip. [206661]

Hilary Benn: Information in the format requested is not held centrally and cannot be provided without incurring a disproportionate cost.

The following table gives the costs of official travel and UK hotel accommodation booked through DFID's travel implant. Travel costs incurred by DFID overseas departments and booked through overseas travel agents are not included. All official travel is undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Ministerial Code, Travel by Ministers and the Civil Service Management Code. Information relating to overseas travel by Ministers is published on an annual basis. Information for the period 2 May 1997 to 31 March 2004 is available in the Library of the House. Information for the financial year 2004–05 will be published as soon as possible at the end of the current financial year.
Travel and hotel payments

£ million

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Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much the Department spent on first-class travel in each year since 1997. [206562]

Hilary Benn: The cost of first class travel in 2003–04 was £77,000. Information on first class travel before that date is not held centrally and cannot be provided without incurring a disproportionate cost.

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